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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Christian Zionism

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/07/christian-zionism.html

What is Christian Zionism ?
 
"Christian Zionism" has been the subject of much controversy. Opponents of  Christian support for Israel apparently invented this name. They claim that all Christian Zionists are dispensationalists and that the movement was originated by J.N. Darby. At the same time, they mayclaim, paradoxically, that any Christian who supports Israel is a Christian Zionist. Supposedly, all such people are extremist fanatics who believe in imminent rapture, and try to hasten the apocalyptic battle of Armageddon. Supposedly, they are also all seeking to convert the Jews, and they all oppose territorial concessions by Israel on theological grounds. The Reverend Stephen Sizer in particular, has been active in propagating these views. His motives are transparently political beneath a theological veneer, as are the motives of most such critics.
 
Though some Christian Zionists do hold the above views in various forms, that is far from a veridical picture of Christian Zionism and Christian support for Israel. Among the most active and visible Christian Zionists, many are not dispensationalists and do not believe in rapture or hastening the battle of Armageddon, nor do they seek to convert Jews.  Christian supporters of Israel include Christians of many Protestant denominations and beliefs, as well as some Catholics.
 
Historically, Christian support for restoration of Israel preceded J.N. Darby by over two hundred years. It originated in the doctrines of the Puritans, which were transmitted from England to the United States. Support for restoration of Israel became much more than an article of faith. Just as previously anti-Semitism had taken hold and become an integral part of European culture, so in the United States, support for restoration of Israel became embedded in American culture. Christian support for restoration of Israel has a long and impressive history in practical as well as political Zionism and theology, that began long before the arrival of dispensationalism in the United States. We have prepared an extensive resource that discusses the theological issues, the critiques and the history of Christian support for Israel at http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/christian_zionism.htm Christian Zionism .
 
We hope you will find this resource of use in understanding the nature of Christian Zionism, and we will appreciate constructive comments, links and support. The work, large as it is, is a work in progress.
 
Cross posted: Israel News  Midde East Analysis  

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